Timothy Evans

Russian defense analyst blasts 'false' Kremlin narrative & concedes that the war in Ukraine 'will get worse'

It's extremely rare for a Russian military expert to criticize the performance of the country's armed forces.

But according to Mikhail Khodaryonok, a defense analyst, his country's war in Ukraine isn't going according to President Vladimir Putin's plan -- and likely is failing.

The BBC's Francis Scarr, who regularly monitors Russian state TV, posted a subtitled video clip on Twitter in which Khodaryonok offered his bleak assessment of the war effort in Ukraine.

"First of all, we shouldn't take information tranquilizers," he said, "because sometimes information is spread about some morale and psychological breakdown in the Ukrainian armed forces, which are allegedly on the verge of some kind of crisis of morale and so on. All of that, to put it mildly, is false."

Khodaryonok noted that the United States shipments of advanced military weapons to Ukraine are being effective in helping the country defend itself against the Russian onslaught, "despite the resistance of a single senator." Kentucky Republican Rand Paul last week blocked Senate consideration of a new U.S. aid package to Ukraine.

"A million armed Ukrainian soldiers need to be viewed as a reality of the very near future," Khodaryonok said. "and we need to take that into account in our operational and strategic calculations, that the situation in this regard for us frankly will get worse."

Watch the defense analyst's entire take on the Russian war effort below or at this link.

The January 6th insurrection cost Donald Trump his dream of hosting the 2022 PGA championship: report

The second major professional golf tournament of the year, the PGA Championship, takes place this week at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, OK. It wasn't supposed to be that way.

Former President Donald Trump's Bedminster, NJ golf club originally was slated to be the venue - that is until the sport's governing organization decided it didn't want to be associated with someone who incited a riot at the U.S. Capitol in an effort to illegitimately retain the presidency.

It took only four days after the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection for the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) to decide it would not stage its 2022 signature tournament at the Trump course, even though it had not secured an alternate location.

According to a Golf Digest report, on the day that legendary players Annika Sorenstam and Gary Player were in the East Room of the White House for a ceremony, the leadership of the PGA met to consider how they should respond to "various constituencies, including advertisers, paying fans, TV viewers, broadcast partners, corporate sponsors — and the 29,000 men and women of the PGA of America.

"By Friday afternoon, they had made a decision. The 2022 PGA would not be played at Trump Bedminster. They didn’t know where it would be played, but it would not be there."

Seth Waugh, the CEO of the PGA of America, said in a telephone interview with Politico at the time, “We’re fiduciaries for our members, for the game, for our mission and for our brand. And how do we best protect that? Our feeling was given the tragic events of Wednesday that we could no longer hold it at Bedminster. The damage could have been irreparable. The only real course of action was to leave.

“My feeling was we could do existential damage to our brand by staying at Bedminster. If we stayed, the 2022 PGA would be about its ownership. People would think we were making a statement by staying there. I felt like we could do permanent damage to the brand if we stayed. As did the board.”

On the evening of Sunday, Jan. 10, the PGA of America put out a one-sentence statement above the name of its president, Jim Richerson, the general manager of Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles: “The PGA of America Board of Directors voted tonight to exercise the right to terminate the agreement to play the 2022 PGA Championship at Trump Bedminster.”

Trump's Turnberry, Scotland, course also was kicked out of the rotation to host any future British Open championships as a direct result of his actions leading up to and occurring on Jan. 6.

Donald Trump gives himself 'a massive out' to potentially rejoining Twitter: report

Former President Donald Trump loudly and proudly proclaimed that he would never return to Twitter after permanently being kicked off the social media platform for violating its policies.

And he's made a big show of trying to launch a competing messaging service called Truth Social, which he claims "encourages an open, free, and honest global conversation without discriminating against political ideology."

But in a securities filing, Axios reports, Trump appears to have given himself "a massive out" for a return to Twitter if Elon Musk agrees to reinstate him if the billionaire's acquisition of the social media behemoth is completed.

The caveat is that he will have to post on Truth Social first and must delay posting any similar or identical message on Twitter.

In a securities filing made by the special-purpose acquisition company that is working to take Truth Social public, it states: "President Trump is generally obligated to make any social media post on TruthSocial and may not make the same post on another social media site for 6 hours. Thereafter, he is free to post on any site to which he has access. Thus, TMTG has limited time to benefit from his posts and followers may not find it compelling to use TruthSocial to read his posts that quickly.

"In addition, he may make a post from a personal account related to political messaging, political fundraising or get-out-the-vote efforts on any social media site at any time."

Many political observers were skeptical of the former president's vow never to go back to Twitter, even after he announced the launch of Truth Social. His new network has struggled to gain traction and, in fact, Trump himself has only posted on the platform infrequently.

'Sad state of affairs': Pennsylvania newspaper editors torch GOP candidates who refuse to 'acknowledge reality'

The Philadelphia Inquirer, perhaps the most influential and well-respected newspaper in Pennsylvania, says that after an in-depth look at Republican primary candidates for statewide office, it cannot endorse any one of them.

The newspaper's editorial board wrote on Friday, "With Pennsylvania voters headed to the polls Tuesday to choose the Republican and Democratic candidates for governor and U.S. Senate, it’s as if the primaries are occurring on two different planets."

As evidence, the Inquirer cited responses to questionnaires it sent to GOP candidates asking the simple question "who won the 2020 presidential election?"

"Only one candidate — Jeff Bartos — agreed to acknowledge reality," it reports.

The blistering editorial continued: "If one of these Republicans wins the general election, they will represent Pennsylvania at the next State of the Union address. We guarantee that it will not be Donald Trump who walks into the U.S. Capitol to deliver the speech. The 2020 election is over. A candidate won, he lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and his name is Joe Biden."

The editors then questioned how it was possible to support the election of any candidate who would not acknowledge this basic fact.

"How do you find points of agreement when you can’t reach common ground on facts so basic that they could be used in a field sobriety test?" they asked.

In deciding against supporting any GOP candidate, the editorial board also noted the U.S. Supreme Court's apparently impending ruling to strike down Roe v. Wade: "Given the Supreme Court’s apparent plans, the members of the board asked each other if we could bring ourselves to support a candidate who, if given the opportunity, was all but certain to use their pen as governor to ban abortion once the protections of Roe are no longer in place. We could not."

In conclusion the newspaper asks, "How can this nation come to a place where we reach different conclusions and hold different opinions while operating from the same commonly shared set of facts? We don’t have an answer."

The editorial described the predicament as a "sad state of affairs."

How Donald Trump created a 'shadow' administration to continue his cruel policies

Former President Donald Trump appointed more than 200 judges to the federal bench during his four years in office. Immigration advocates say those judges today are operating like a "shadow Trump administration" as they decide cases in which President Joe Biden has sought to undo some of his predecessor's strictest policies.

As NPR reports, lawyers for Arizona, Louisiana and Missouri went "judge shopping" when they wanted to go to court to challenge the Biden administration plan to lift Trump's Title 42 pandemic border restrictions. Title 42, under the guise of COVID-19 safety, gave the federal government the power to return migrants at the southern border to their home countries without affording them a hearing.

Instead of filing the challenge in a court in a state capital or near the border, they opted to bring their case in the Western District of Louisiana where it will be heard today in oral arguments in front of a Trump-appointed judge.

U.S. District Judge Robert Summerhays is scheduled to hear oral arguments today in a courthouse in Lafayette, LA, which is more than 500 miles from the U.S./Mexico border.

Immigrant advocates say states are deliberately steering cases to federal judges appointed by Trump, where they believe they'll get a sympathetic hearing.

"To date, these states have brought no less than 17 lawsuits challenging President Biden's immigration moves," said Karen Tumlin, the founder of Justice Action Network, on a call this week with reporters. In effect, these states are using the courts to "keep a shadow Trump administration in office on immigration issues," she said.

Mike Lindell says that he has dumped $30 million into proving Donald Trump's Big Lie

MyPillow CEO and Donald Trump election warrior Mike Lindell says that he has spent a whopping $30 million to pursue legal efforts that have so far fruitlessly tried to prove widespread fraud in the 2020 presidential election.

Lindell told the Guardian that he has used the money to retain approximately 70 lawyers, cyber consultants, private investigators and others to amass "evidence" of a fraud that election officials across the U.S. say never happened.

The Minnesota businessman, who inserted himself into national politics by echoing the former president's false claim that the election was stolen from him, spent $500,000 just last month on an Arizona lawsuit filed by two Trump-backed candidates to prevent voting machines that Lindell claims are defective from being used in upcoming elections.

According to the Guardian, "Lindell said that he plans to underwrite similar anti voting machine lawsuits in the next few months in many other states including Colorado, South Dakota, Texas, Wisconsin, Michigan and Alabama. 'I’d like to file the lawsuits in all 50 states,' he said. 'I didn’t come all this way not to succeed. We’ve got to get rid of them all.'”

The report outlines the bedding executive's spending elsewhere.

He said that he's spending up to $200,000 per month to support a group he launched late last year, Cause of America, to "restore trust in local elections." He also has hired former Fox News reporter Lara Logan to produce a documentary about voting machine fraud that Lindell says will be "huge."

Election experts and voting watchdogs say Lindell’s legal blitz against voting machines - and other efforts to advance Trump’s baseless claims about widespread fraud - are deeply flawed, dangerous and potentially risk causing further damage to voter confidence in elections.

Surging 'ultra-MAGA' Senate candidate 'threatening to steal the nomination' from Dr. Oz: report

Celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz has massive name recognition, a ton of money, and former President Donald Trump's "complete and total endorsement" in the Pennsylvania Republican Senate primary.

But Kathy Barnette, the so-called "ultra-MAGA" candidate, is surging in recent polls and is threatening to steal the nomination from Oz and the other leading candidate, David McCormick, according to Politico. Pennsylvania's GOP Senate primary is one of the most closely watched -- and expensive -- races in the country.

Previously, the conservative commentator wasn't given much of a chance of being a factor. She's never run for statewide office and two years ago suffered a huge defeat in a race for a House seat in the Philadelphia suburbs.

According to the Politico report, "Barnette’s unlikely — and, to some, unbelievable — rise has turned heads in political circles across the state because it defies political logic. Mehmet Oz and David McCormick have spent $12.4 million and $11.4 million on television commercials, respectively, according to the ad-tracking firm AdImpact. Other candidates and outside groups have bankrolled $25 million more in spots. Oz has also won a highly sought-after nod from Trump."

Barnette, in contrast, "has spent a paltry $137,000 on TV."

Brian Nutt, a Pennsylvania-based Republican strategist who isn't working with any of the GOP candidates, says, “Barnette’s apparent rise is surprising just because of the lack of notoriety or resources compared to some of the other candidates in that race.”

Republican strategists and officials across the Keystone State believe Barnette is likely benefiting from the high-octane battle between Oz and McCormick. McCormick's attack ads label Oz as a “RINO," while Oz calls McCormick as a stooge for China.

In an interview, Barnette told Politico she has been successful because voters are looking for “authenticity” amid the TV ad wars.

“They’re spending $50 million on ads. That is their campaign,” she said of her opponents. “Unless there’s some high-falutin’ press conference or debates or events to go to, it’s overwhelmingly on television. And it’s these plastic, little run-of-the-mill political ads.”

In an April debate, Barnette said “MAGA does not belong to President Trump.”

“Our values never, never shifted to President Trump’s values,” she said. “It was President Trump who shifted and aligned with our values.”

Donald Trump 'was the biggest leaker of all' and it was 'bad for the country': Mark Esper

Former President Donald Trump has a long history of both complaining about and being the source of "leaks" within his own administration.

In a new excerpt from his forthcoming book, former Defense Secretary Mark Esper says that "leaks were a chronic problem" in the Trump administration and asserts that the former was the "biggest leaker of all."

As reported by Business Insider, Esper writes in "A Sacred Oath: Memoirs of a Secretary of Defense During Extraordinary Times", "The individual motivations for the leaks ranged from advancing a preferred policy outcome to enhancing the leaker's own role or credentials to currying favor with the president. It was a noxious behavior learned from the top. The president was the biggest leaker of all. It turned colleague against colleague, department against department, and it was generally bad for the administration and the country."

According to Esper, the leaks "damaged trust" and made people "far more reluctant to speak up and share their views."

"Nobody wanted to see their name in the morning news, especially when the words were so often twisted, misinterpreted, and taken out of context," he added. "In the Trump administration, this could get you blacklisted or fired."

Trump often complained about leakers during his administration and vowed to expose and punish them. In a May 2018 tweet he wrote, "Leakers are traitors and cowards, and we will find out who they are!"

Esper's identification of Trump as a leaker backs up that same assertion by former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in his memoir. Last year Christie revealed that Trump told him he leaked to Axios that he was offering Christie the White House chief of staff job in late 2018.

"I did it myself," Trump said when Christie asked him if he knew who leaked the story, according to the book. "It was a great story, right? It was good for you and good for me. It was good," Trump said. Christie says he withdrew himself from consideration to avoid embarrassing Trump by publicly rejecting the offer.

During his presidential campaign Trump initially denied reports that for years he had used the fake names John Barron or John Miller when calling reporters to promote his business interests. He eventually admitted his subterfuge to late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel.

QAnon 'nut jobs' are 'intercepting' migrant children at the border to indoctrinate them: report

None of QAnon believers' predictions about former President Donald Trump returning to Washington, DC and being "reinstated" as president have come true.

But now it appears they're ramping up efforts in another area to try to advance their political agenda and raise money for their cause.

An in-depth report by The New York Times recounts how QAnon adherents are intercepting migrant children at the southern border and attempting to woo and indoctrinate them into their worldview. It's the latest iteration of the group's claim that its mission is to save children from a powerful cabal of child sex traffickers.

The Times reports that QAnon follower Jason Frank is gathering up migrants who enter the United States through gaps in the border wall in Arizona and plying the weary and hungry children with hamburgers and hot dogs -- all while giving them "Let's Go Brandon" T-shirts to pose for a group photo and leading them in a prayer circle. He also reportedly broadcasts the activities on Facebook Live, declaring that he wants to keep the children safe.

"Frank, a QAnon influencer whose Facebook page in recent months has shown him pictured with such conservative celebrities as Donald J. Trump Jr., Michael Flynn and Sidney Powell," the newspaper reports, "has fashioned his team into a new style of border enforcers, motivated not so much by halting immigration as by guarding the country from other perceived threats — in this case, an unfounded conspiracy theory that migrant children are being funneled into pedophilia rings.

“They are being trafficked, sex trafficked. That’s the No. 1 trade,” according to Frank.

But that's not the reality according to Stacey Sutherland, an official with the Arizona Anti-Trafficking Network. “We haven’t heard about migrant children brought in to be sex workers or slaves,” she said. “At the border, it’s overwhelmingly people who paid to be smuggled.”

The sheriff of Pima County, Arizona, Chris Nanos, called the “QAnon types” at the border “nut jobs” but said they were not his responsibility.

"If they are interfering with migrants crossing, Border Patrol should deal with it,” he said.

Anti-choice House Democrat covers up firing pregnant staffer who asked for maternity leave and had a stillbirth

Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX), an anti-abortion Texas Democrat, fired his acting chief of staff in 2018 after she requested maternity leave -- during a pregnancy that resulted in a stillbirth.

Then, after the fact, the congressman allegedly attempted to coerce his staffers to fabricate poor job performance reviews to justify the dismissal.

Those are the explosive accusations included in a Jezebel report out today.

Former Cuellar staffer Kristie Small had recently signed onto the Texas congressman's staff in August 2018 when she told the congressman that she was pregnant. The congressman's response to her initial request for maternity leave was they would "need to talk about" it; he cited a 90-day probationary period for all new hires.

But according to Small via Jezebel, no such condition of employment was contained in her employment agreement or the employee handbook.

"Cuellar never approved her parental leave and, on October 16, he fired her over the phone, citing poor job performance, while she was in her third trimester. About two weeks later, Small delivered her baby at 30 weeks pregnant. It was a stillbirth," Jezebel reports.

Small sued Cuellar’s office in May 2019 alleging both sex and pregnancy discrimination under federal law.

But Cuellar’s office tried to dismiss the lawsuit and submitted disparaging letters from Small’s colleagues about her job performance as justification. According to court documents reviewed by Jezebel, "Cuellar himself requested staffers write these letters after he fired Small, and at least five were dated after Small filed her lawsuit."

Federal judge Trevor N. McFadden denied Cuellar's motion to dismiss the case and wrote that the congressman "solicited written statements from his staffers about Small’s performance after he fired her…And the staffers provided their statements after Small filed this action in May 2019. Perhaps Cuellar was simply looking for corroboration of Small’s poor performance, but a jury might also see this as an attempt to collect post hoc justifications.”

Cuellar faces a runoff in a primary election on May 24 against a progressive immigration attorney, Jessica Cisneros. She has asked for Democratic leadership to rescind its support of Cuellar and has been endorsed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Planned Parenthood Action Fund and NARAL Pro-Choice America.

'QAnon Shaman' wants to withdraw his January 6th guilty plea because he thinks his lawyers screwed him

The Arizona man who proclaimed himself the “QAnon Shaman” while parading around inside the U.S. Capitol during the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection is attempting to get his plea deal thrown out.

Jacob Chansley, who instantly became one of the most recognizable figures in the riot because of his horned headdress and bare-chested display of body art, has hired two new attorneys and plans on petitioning the court to take the unusual step of letting him withdraw his plea of guilty to the felony count of obstruction of an official proceeding, according to WUSA9.

U.S. District June Royce Lamberth sentenced Chansley in November to 41 months in prison, at the time the longest sentence any defendant had received for participating in the riot.

"Less than two weeks after sentencing, though, attorneys John Pierce and William Shipley notified the court they would be replacing Watkins to pursue an appeal," according to the WUSA9 report. Pierce is a career civil attorney who briefly represented acquitted Kenosha, WI, shooter Kyle Rittenhouse. Shipley served for more than 20 years as a federal prosecutor. The two represent dozens of Jan. 6 defendants.

Shipley confirmed that they now intend to abandon the appeal and instead will try to convince Lamberth to allow Chansley's case to go back "square one."

“The remedy – IF successful – would be to vacate his conviction, and he would be back in the District Court as if he never pled guilty,” Shipley said.

Their argument is that Chansley received ineffective counsel from veteran Missouri attorney Albert Watkins leading up to the plea deal. But according to the non-profit Innocence Project the standard of proof for that gambit places an "extremely high burden" on defendants and almost never succeeds.

US Marshals launch nationwide manhunt for 6'9" tattooed murder suspect who escaped from prison

The manhunt for admitted murderer Casey White, who vanished from an Alabama prison a week ago, is now a nationwide effort and law enforcement authorities have released images showing his multiple white supremacist tattoos in the hope that the public will recognize the 6-foot-9-inch fugitive.

U.S. Marshals Service

They also have published photo renderings of how the corrections officer who is believed to have facilitated his escape, Vicky White (no relation), may have altered her hairstyle to avoid being recognized, according to CBS News.

U.S. Marshals Service

The U.S. Marshals Service also disclosed Friday that Casey White in 2015 threatened to kill his ex-girlfriend and her sister and said he wanted to die by "suicide by cop." Authorities say they have advised his "potential targets" about his escape and the threats against them and have taken "appropriate protective actions."

Casey White was being held at the prison on capital murder charges in the 2015 death of Connie Ridgeway, a slaying to which he confessed in 2020 while being held for other crimes. He also been linked to home invasions and carjackings and was also involved in a police chase.

As CBS News reports, "Last Friday, Vicky White, 56, told her co-workers that the 38-year-old inmate needed to go to the courthouse for a mental health evaluation. She was escorting the inmate alone — a violation of the sheriff's office policy. When she did not answer her phone or return in the afternoon, authorities realized the pair had gone missing. Authorities eventually learned that the evaluation was never scheduled and was just a charade to allow Vicky White to sneak Casey White out of the jail without suspicion."

Authorities have learned that Vicky White purchased several weapons, including an AR-15 rifle and a shotgun two weeks before the escape. They also believe she has a 9 mm handgun with her.

After initial confusion as to whether the corrections officer was forced to aid the inmate's escape or was a willing participant, federal investigators now suspect the escape had been planned for several months. They say Vicky White recently sold her house for less than half of its market value, sold her car just before the escape and filed paperwork to officially retire from her job.

Authorities advise that the pair is considered armed and dangerous and should not be approached if spotted.

Body camera footage proves cops lied about killing a 77-year-old motorist by slamming his head into his truck

Video footage recorded on body cameras worn by a Warren County, VA, police officer appears to show that sheriff's deputies lied about the circumstances of a traffic stop in which a 77-year-old man suffered a brain injury and later died.

The county Sheriff's Office originally said that Ralph Ennis fell over the trailer hitch of his red pickup truck and struck his head on the camper top attached to his truck.

But as footage aired by Washington, DC, TV station NBC4 shows, deputies rushed the man in the parking lot of a 7-Eleven near Front Royal, VA, and then slammed him face-forward into the back of his truck and tackled him to the ground. Police have said Ennis failed to drop his keys and put his hands behind his back after exiting his vehicle.

Ennis, whose wife said he suffered from dementia, died 13 days later. The sheriff's office originally said that the man had non-life threatening injuries as a result of the incident. Wife Linda Ennis said her husband was transported by medics to the hospital and was diagnosed with a brain bleed. He died April 15. She said he was the subject of a Silver Alert in mid-March as a result of his dementia.

Deputies had pulled him over for driving erratically and speeding. They assert he was driving 63 miles per hour in a 55 MPH zone.

In the video a deputy is heard yelling at Ennis to "get on the ground," at which point officers rushed him and slammed him into the truck's camper. A Front Royal police officer also can be heard saying in the body camera video, "That was … unjust and … un[expletive] called for."

The Warren County Sheriff, Mark Butler, told News4 he stands by the initial statement his office released.

Watch the footage below or at this link.

FRPD Body Cam - Ralph Ennis youtu.be

Michele Bachmann baselessly blames abortion rights for increased immigration

Right-wing former Rep. Michele Bachmann, appearing in the latest episode of Steve Bannon's "War Room" podcast, said that abortion rights in the United States are the cause of the immigration influx at the country's southern border with Mexico.

The former Minnesota Republican congresswoman made that leap while commenting on the leaked draft Supreme Court opinion authored by Justice Samuel Alito about the possible reversal of the nearly 50-year-old Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide. In her opinion, the potential repeal of the decision is "no big deal" and would return the U.S. to where it was 49 years ago.

After saying that individual states should have the right declare whether abortions should be legal, Bachmann then connected the issue of reproductive rights with immigration.

"Here's what the kicker is," she said. "Because of that decision -- poorly crafted decision -- there are 62 million people who are not alive and breathing on this Earth because of it."

She told Bannon that, absent the abortions that have taken place since the landmark ruling, the United States would not have migrants looking to enter the country.

You can watch the entire clip below or at this link.

Michele Bachmann: Overturning Roe no big deal because 'we’re just back where we were 49 years ago' youtu.be

Pope Francis knocks pro-war head of Russian Orthodox Church as Vladimir Putin's 'altar boy'

Pope Francis says that he has told the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, not to "transform himself into Putin's altar boy" by continuing to justify the Russian president's unprovoked attack on Ukraine.

In an interview published on Tuesday by the Italian daily Corriere della Sera and reported by CNN, the Pope revealed that he had spoken to Kirill March 16. The Catholic leader sharply criticized the patriarch for parroting Putin's justifications for the brutal assault.

"I spoke to him for 40 minutes via Zoom," the Pope said. "The first 20 minutes he read to me, with a card in hand, all the justifications for war. I listened and told him: I don't understand anything about this. Brother, we are not clerics of state, we cannot use the language of politics but that of Jesus."

Francis said that during the conference call he and the Patriarch had agreed to postpone a meeting they had scheduled for June 14 in Jerusalem.

"It would be our second face-to-face meeting, nothing to do with the war," the Pope said. "But now, he too agrees: let's stop, it could be an ambiguous signal."

Kirill has echoed Putin's stated justifications for invading Ukraine, saying the war is an extension of a fundamental culture clash between the Russian world and Western liberal values. The Russian cleric has said he fully supports Putin's efforts to reestablish a Russian empire in which the Orthodox religion plays a pivotal role.

Starbucks fires employee who was sexually assaulted by her supervisor – who kept his job

A Starbucks shift supervisor who admitted to sexually assaulting a female barista last year was allowed by the company to retain his position, even as the company fired the 18-year-old victim.

According to Motherboard at Vice.com, the company transferred the supervisor to another location in Richmond, VA, after he pleaded guilty to the crime and kept him employed for another five months.

Motherboard identifies the victim by the pseudonym "Claire" and reports that on Nov. 2 of last year she told her Ashland, VA, store manager that the supervisor had sexually assaulted her the previous day at his house. It writes, "Claire also contacted the Henrico County Police Department to report the assault. Court records show that the state of Virginia charged the worker who assaulted her with 'object sexual penetration by force.'

"In the following days, Claire said she saw the man who assaulted her working at Starbucks" and skipped work to cope with anxiety and depression. Starbucks denies that the man who assaulted her worked at the store in the two weeks after she reported the assault."

Then, just nine days after she reported the assault, on Nov. 11, Starbucks fired Claire for irregular attendance. The man who assaulted her was allowed to remain with the company. He ultimately was fired on April 14 of this year, five weeks after his guilty plea and after a Virginia court ordered him to register as a sex offender with the state police.

Workers at the store where the two worked told Motherboard "management was more interested in distributing anti-union propaganda and protecting the man who assaulted Claire than keeping them safe. Thirteen workers there sent a letter to Starbucks corporate on April 22 demanding an 'official explanation, as well as an acknowledgment of wrongdoing from members of corporate whose job it is to maintain our safety.'

"While management never told us of these criminal sexual assault charges, the partners in our store felt increasingly uncomfortable working with him on the floor. He made repeated sexual comments and jokes to partners, while frequently reminding partners of his authority over others,' they wrote in the letter, obtained by Motherboard. "Across the country, partners associated with union organization are being wrongfully terminated without prior written notice for minor infractions such dress code offenses and 'safety violations,' but an individual who had been arrested and indicted for felony sexual assault was allowed to remain employed for four months before termination. Clearly Starbucks is more interested in national union-busting than protecting its partners from sexual assault."

Since December, more than 50 U.S. Starbucks locations have voted to unionize. Almost another 250 locations have filed for union elections with the National Labor Relations Board.

Colorado GOP gubernatorial candidate goes on bizarre, conspiracy-riddled, homophobic rant

Colorado Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Lopez wants to institute a ban on abortion with no exceptions, including rape and incest; believes that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump; and says it's time for Colorado to have "a real First Lady again."

Those are the key takeaways from his recent interview with KUSA reporter Kyle Clark in Denver. Lopez also says he wants to eliminate mail-in voting, even though records show that he has voted by mail every time since Colorado gave voters the option to do so in 2013.

In the interview, Lopez defended his anti-abortion stance and dismissed a question about his 1993 arrest for violently assaulting his then-pregnant wife, Lisa.

"Both of those involve you exerting control over a woman's body," Kyle said. "Is that what Coloradans want from their governor?"

Lopez responded, "First of all, it wasn't a violent situation. There's only been one perfect man who's ever walked this Earth and we nailed him to the cross. I'm not a perfect man and I've made my mistakes but I've learned from them."

Lopez also denied that his "real First Lady again" comment was a homophobic dig at current Democratic Gov. Jared Polis, America's first openly gay governor. Polis married his long-time partner Marlon Reis while in office.

You can watch the entire interview below.

Abortion, mail-in voting, inflation: One-on-one with GOP gubernatorial candidate Greg Lopez youtu.be

Amazon will reimburse employees who travel for medical procedures – including abortion: report

Amazon, the United States' second largest private employer, informed workers that it will reimburse them if they have to travel more than 100 miles from home for medical treatments -- including abortions.

Reuters reports that the company made the announcement via email on Monday and informed employees it will reimburse up to $4,000 in travel expenses for reproductive health and other non-life threatening treatments for cardiology, cellular gene therapies and substance-abuse disorder services. The company also provides reimbursements up to $10,000 for travel expenses if an office or warehouse worker needs treatment for life-threatening issues.

Other large U.S. employers such as Citigroup and Yelp offer similar benefits to employees. Those benefits increasingly have become top-of-mind as Republican run states across the country - including Texas, Oklahoma and Florida - have passed highly restrictive new anti-abortion laws.

The wire service notes that Amazon's move "shows how companies are eager to retain and attract talent in locations that remain important to their operations despite legal changes impacting employees' health.

Amazon's new benefit, effective to Jan. 1 retroactively, applies if an operation is not available within 100 miles (161 km) of an employee's home and virtual care is not possible," Reuters reports the company's message said. "It is open to U.S. employees or covered dependents enrolled in Premera or Aetna health plans."

But news of that new benefit came on the same day that the company stopped offering paid time off for U.S. employees who have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Instead, they now can take five days of excused unpaid leave.

Donald Trump unleashes angry rant about sports during right-wing radio interview

Former President Donald Trump launched an angry rant while speaking on an Ohio radio talk show Tuesday against a GOP Senate primary candidate who recently has surged in the polls against J.D. Vance, who he recently endorsed.

During an appearance on "The Bruce Hooley Show," Trump made up the term "potential wokie" while disparaging candidate Matt Dolan. Hooley teed up Trump by saying he doesn't believe that Dolan is "an authentic conservative" because the candidate supports Ohio's Equality Act, which would afford protective status to LGBQT citizens. The former president was only too happy to use that as a starting point to jump into the fray.

"I don't know that much about him, but what I do know is that he's involved with the Cleveland Indians. Being somewhat of a baseball fan, I didn't think that name change was a good thing. I think that anybody who does is wokie, or potentially wokie," Trump opined.

He then extended his criticism of sports teams that have changed their nicknames so as not to continue disparaging Native Americans by saying he also was against the decision by the Washington football team to drop the moniker "Redskins" in favor of the "Commanders."

Dolan, an Ohio State Senator and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, very deliberately did not seek out Trump's endorsement. He is part of the ownership group of the recently renamed Cleveland Guardians professional baseball team.

Of the name change, Trump groused, "That would actually get me not to vote for somebody like that."

You can watch/listen to Trump's entire rant below or at this link:

Trump on Matt Dolan youtu.be

Chair of South Carolina county GOP arrested and indicted for child abuse

The Chairman of York County, South Carolina Republicans was arrested Monday morning and charged with multiple counts for allegedly causing severe bruising by spanking a child's bare bottom.

Benjamin “Ben” Ignatowicz, 33, of York County was taken into custody by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) for unlawful neglect of a child or helpless person for allegedly causing a child bodily harm, according to WIS 10 News.

Warrants state that on March 27, 2021, he spanked an unidentified minor child at his residence. The WIS 10 report indicates that during an interview, Ignatowicz said he was frustrated when he spanked the child and told SLED agents that “it had been a day."

"When shown a picture by SLED of the bruising, Ignatowicz said: 'based off the picture' he would agree that it was excessive," according to the charging documents.

The charge is a felony under South Carolina law and carries up to 10 years in prison for a conviction. The York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson is a Republican and said that because of the political affiliation his office turned over the case to SLED.

Ignatowicz's biography on the York County Republicans website states that, in addition to his county GOP chairmanship, he has served as chairman of the school board of Riverwalk Academy since 2020. Riverwalk Academy is a private K-10th school in Rock Hill, SC.

It also indicates that he has "two precious daughters" with wife Elizabeth.

GOP columnist warns Ron DeSantis 'there would be hell to pay' running for president against Donald Trump

"There would be hell to pay" if Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis were to run against former President Donald Trump for the presidency in the 2024 election. That's the opinion of a Republican who has discussed their presidential aspirations with both men, according to an NBC News report, who added, "Trump made Ron."

DeSantis appeared Monday morning on the conservative podcast "The Truth with Lisa Boothe." DeSantis made it clear he’s eying his re-election bid for governor as a launching off point for something bigger, even though he won't come out and publicly say that he aspires to the Oval Office.

It seems that DeSantis thinks his record as governor of the Sunshine State qualifies him to run the country. He told Boothe: “My goal would be, if we win the election really big, people like you who analyze these things are going to say: ‘The days of Florida being a swing state are over. Florida is a red state.’ And I think that’s because of a lot of what we’ve done."

According to the report, part of the calculus of a possible Trump-DeSantis contest is how much sway the former president would have in a state where DeSantis holds a sizable favorable opinion rating.

If DeSantis wins reelection, decides not to run for president so soon after the vote and has tens of millions of dollars in the bank afterward, Trump could pressure him to turn over that bounty to a pro-Trump super PAC to fuel his own reelection bid.

"Trump insiders have been discussing plans to have Trump announce his White House plans in early January, making it more difficult for a newly re-elected governor like DeSantis to announce a presidential bid without coming into direct confrontation with Trump.," NBC reports.

Federal judge orders RNC to hand over Donald Trump's 2020 fundraising data to House January 6th panel

A federal judge has rejected efforts by the Republican National Committee (RNC) to keep its mass email marketing records from the House Select Committee investigating the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

The committee is seeking records held by business software company Salesforce in connection with its work with former President Donald Trump's 2020 reelection campaign to determine if Trump's fund-raising emails encouraged the violence of the mob that tried to prevent confirmation of Joe Biden as the duly-elected president, according to the Washington Post, which described the judge's ruling as a "thorough victory" for the January 6 committee.

U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Kelly of Washington rejected the RNC’s claims that its and the Trump campaign’s information was protected under the First Amendment. Kelly also affirmed the committee's Constitutionally-granted legislative power to obtain the records and found that judges cannot interfere with how lawmakers obtain and use information.

Kelly's ruling late Sunday temporarily blocks Salesforce from releasing any records to the House before Wednesday to give the national GOP committee time to appeal. The RNC sued the committee in early March seeking to quash the subpoena it had issued to Salesforce on Feb. 23.

“It is hard to imagine a more important interest for Congress than to preserve its own ability to carry out specific duties assigned to it under the Constitution,” Kelly wrote in a 53-page opinion issued shortly before midnight. “To repeat: according to the Select Committee, its investigation and public reporting suggest that claims that the 2020 presidential election was fraudulent or stolen motivated some who participated in the attack, and emails sent by the RNC and the Trump campaign using Salesforce’s platform spread those claims.”

One email, sent an hour before rioters breached police lines at the Capitol that day urged supporters to “FIGHT BACK,” under another header stating, “This is our LAST CHANCE.”

Fortune 500 companies are still bankrolling 2020 election-denying Republicans: report

Toyota Motor Corp. was targeted by the anti-Trump group The Lincoln Project with a digital ad campaign this week assailing the company for resuming its political donations to members of Congress who voted against certifying the 2020 election on Jan. 6, 2021.

A new report by the liberal group Accountable.US finds that the carmaker is just one of many Fortune 500 companies that have resumed giving money to election certification deniers.

Vice News indicates that the group says that "hardware giant Home Depot and agricultural equipment manufacturer Deere & Company, donated more than $800,000 last month to Republicans who voted to overturn the 2020 election results."

Just in March, the home improvement retailer gave $95,000 to 20 House Republicans who voted to overturn the 2020 election results last January. Deere tossed $75,000 to more than a dozen Republicans and aerospace giant Boeing - the second-largest federal contractor in the U.S. - donated $45,000 to 32 different Republicans who objected to the 2020 results, according to FEC records. Boeing has more than $23 billion in federal contracts in FY2021, including the construction of the new planes that will serve as Air Force One.

Also donating more than $20,000 each to multiple GOP members in March were General Dynamics, Motorola Solutions, FedEx and Tyson Foods, according to the data.

According to Accountable.US, House Republicans who voted against the certification of the 2020 election raked in more than $800,000 from corporate and trade group PACs last month. Those groups have donated more than $12 million to Jan. 6 objectors since the insurrection.

“Corporations that have failed to align their political spending with their stated values supporting democracy should stop misleading the public about what they value far more - amassing political influence,” Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US, said in a statement to VICE News.

“It’s short-sighted for any corporation to marginalize concerns from its customers and shareholders when it comes to democracy, because a healthy democracy will always be what’s best for business.”

By far, Home Depot has been the biggest corporate donor to Republicans who voted to overturn the election. Its top recipients include House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy ($456,000), House Minority Whip Steve Scalise ($353,000), and Missouri Rep. Sam Graves ($290,000).

'Zero tolerance': Holocaust survivor urges Elon Musk to ensure Twitter never becomes a 'platform for hatred'

Gabriella Major has made it her life's mission to ensure the world never forgets the horrors of the Holocaust. She has good reason. As a two-year-old in 1944, Major and her family were rounded up by the Nazis who had just invaded her native Hungary. Twenty-eight members of her family were murdered at Auschwitz, but somehow the rail car she was put on never made it to the death camp and she emigrated to the United States in the late 1950s.

Major now is a New York City-based docent and speaker at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. As reported by The Daily Beast, she is imploring the owners of social media platforms not to allow the forums to be used for Holocaust denialism under the guise of "free speech."

Two years ago she criticized Facebook and its Jewish founder Mark Zuckerberg for not eliminating such hate speech. Today, on Holocaust Remembrance Day, she has the same message for Elon Musk.

"Now that Elon Musk has purchased Twitter for $44 billion—though the deal has yet to go through—critics have expressed worry that the site may soon be even more overrun by neo-Nazis, given the edgelord fan base he’s somehow cultivated, his numerous nods to allowing all manner of speech (eerily reminiscent of Zuckerberg’s 2018 defense of Facebook permitting Holocaust denialism)," according to the Daily Beast report.

Musk's past posting of Hitler-themed memes, including one comparing Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to Hitler, prompted a strong rebuke from the Auschwitz-Birkenau museum.

“There should be zero tolerance. That’s what I want to hear: zero tolerance,” Major says. “What we can do, before it really takes hold—and takes roots—on Twitter, is to caution [Musk] and say, we’re glad we have this other social media, but we’re concerned that it should not become a platform for hatred. It’s a very big platform and we would like to support it, but only if it’s disallowing expressions of hatred—like antisemitism or the targeting of any people, including spreading the unfortunate hatred that exists right now.”

She is concerned about one person, who has demonstrated little sensitivity to the Holocaust, having control of the worldwide social media outlet. “We need to make this a better world, and he can be an ambassador of that because he has a very big platform. Unfortunately, when so much is in the hands of one person who’s monopolizing it, who knows,” she said.

How an obscure House Republican fueled Donald Trump's election conspiracy theories

Outside of Pennsylvania, five-term Republican Rep. Scott Perry doesn't have much in the way of name recognition. But now, in the wake of testimony from a former Trump White House aide, the House Select Committee investigating the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection is paying attention to Perry and his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Last December, Perry refused to voluntarily testify before the committee, calling it "illegitimate." As MSNBC reports now, the congressman may be facing a subpoena to compel his testimony.

Perry, chair of the right-wing House Freedom Caucus, endorsed a plan “to direct thousands of angry marchers” to the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. According to The New York Times, Perry participated in a planning call including former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Trump personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio and other Freedom Caucus members. Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to Meadows, said no one on the call spoke out against the idea.

Hutchinson also said Perry was present when lawyers warned that a fake-electors scheme was not “legally sound,” though many Republicans proceeded with the scheme anyway.

Perry cast a wide net with his "stolen election" conspiracy theories. MSNBC columnist Steve Benen reports: "Five days after the election was called for Joe Biden, Perry sent a message to Meadows that read, 'From an Intel friend: DNI needs to task NSA to immediately seize and begin looking for international comms related to Dominion.' Perry appeared to encourage the then-White House chief of staff to get the Director of National Intelligence to order the National Security Agency to investigate debunked claims that Dominion voting machines were hacked by China."

The Pennsylvania congressman also claimed that America's British allies were behind a secret plot to manipulate U.S. voting machines and that Gina Haspel, the Trump-appointed director of the CIA, was helping to cover it up. About a month later, according to a CNN report, he sent Meadows a YouTube link detailing another conspiracy theory: that votes were changed by Italian satellites."

"For those familiar with Perry’s record, this may not come as a surprise: The congressman has spent years promoting weird conspiracy theories with little connection to reality," Benen concluded. "But the ideas the Pennsylvania Republican shared with Meadows appear to be utterly bonkers. It makes me wonder how big a role he'll have on Capitol Hill next year if voters elect a GOP majority."

Kevin McCarthy gets standing ovation from House GOP while defending remarks about Donald Trump

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) on Wednesday reportedly got a standing ovation from House Republicans at a conference meeting at which the House Minority Leader defended his comments about former President Donald Trump's actions in the wake of the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection.

CNN is reporting that McCarthy labeled the leaks of audio recordings in which he said he would discuss the prospect of resignation with Trump "an attempt to divide the GOP conference ahead of the midterms." In defending his remarks, McCarthy said he needed to discuss every possible scenario in advance of the pending Electoral College certification of Joe Biden's election.

The California Republican told members that the recently released recordings of his comments "only included a portion of his comments and don't have the full context."

The meeting, however, wasn't all about unity, according to CNN. The network reports: "At the meeting, Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz asked House GOP Whip Steve Scalise about Scalise's taped comments that Gaetz's incendiary January 6 remarks were 'potentially illegal.' Two sources said Scalise said he told Gaetz they were just speculating based on what law enforcement was saying then and based on his own personal experience after being shot on a baseball field."

When he was asked if he thought his comments would diminish his chances of being elected speaker if Republicans take back the House in the upcoming midterms, McCarthy's response was a terse, "Nope."

McCarthy criticized inflammatory comments made by GOP lawmakers following the Jan. 6 Capitol attack in a recording obtained and published by the New York Times.

On Jan. 10, 2021, according to a recording, McCarthy urged Republican leaders to follow public statements from GOP lawmakers that might be seen as dangerous.

"The country is too crazy," McCarthy said, according to audio obtained by the Times. "I do not want to look back and think we caused something or we missed something and someone got hurt. I don't want to play politics with any of that."

Reporters who published Kevin McCarthy's taped remarks facing criticism for withholding them

There was a flurry of headlines last week when news broke that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said out loud that he thought former President Donald Trump should resign in the wake of the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection. The focus was on the fact that McCarthy lied about ever expressing that thought - until, of course, he was confronted with the audio recording of him saying exactly that.

New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alex Burns broke that news with the publication of an excerpt of their new book "This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America’s Future." The revelation also ignited a discussion about whether it's ethical and acceptable for reporters to withhold "scoops" like the McCarthy comment from their daily reporting to pump up book sales.

Many on Twitter faulted the reporters for not publishing McCarthy's comments sooner.




Should authors sit on news to sell books? The New Republic's Alex Shephard takes on that question: "It’s an age-old 'ethics in journalism' question. Whether it’s excusable to hold back information that’s vital to the public interest has long been the type of concern debated in journalism schools and other forums—most news items take some time to be released, and there’s an argument that holding them back (provided they’re not of existential importance) for more context or information is defensible. But it’s one more matter that’s become a larger public concern in the Trump era. When Bob Woodward published Fear, his account of Donald Trump’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, many were furious that the veteran journalist had held onto information revealing that Trump knew that the virus was deadly but decided to minimize the risks in the hope of political gain. In the case of This Will Not Pass, we have a less urgent but still important issue: Kevin McCarthy was caught on tape saying he thought the president should resign. Shouldn’t that have been a matter of record sooner?"

While the practice has become much more prevalent in recent years, broadly labeling journalists for having ethical lapses isn't the black and white prospect some think, according to Shephard. "We don’t know when Martin and Burns acquired audio of McCarthy saying Trump should resign," he writes. If they had known it before the House voted to impeach Trump on Jan. 13 that could be problematic. "If they came by this knowledge after those dates, however," he notes, "it’s not at all clear that publicly disseminating it would have made a substantial difference to anyone’s favored political outcome in spite of the fact that it would have been newsworthy at any point."

NBC News reporter Mike Hixenbaugh made a similar argument:


Twitter blasts 'idiot' Lauren Boebert over 'build your own Florida' tweet

Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert represents a Congressional district in Colorado, one of the most LBGTQ-friendly states in the country. That does not, however, prevent the gun-toting, freshman congresswoman from attacking the community.

As pointed out by the website lgbtqnation.com, Boebert is so on board with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' so-called "Don't Say Gay Law" that she is encouraging LGBTQ people to create their "own Florida" where they can be themselves.

She wrote on Twitter: “If you don’t like Florida’s laws protecting kids from doing irreversible damage to their bodies, then build your own Florida."

Last month, Republican DeSantis signed the "Don’t Say Gay" bill, which bans discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity in younger grades and requires such discussions to be “developmentally appropriate” in older grades. While the law doesn’t define what those terms mean, it did empower parents to sue school districts if they feel that the law was violated.

DeSantis and the state in general have been criticized because of the law, including by President Joe Biden and Disney, the state's largest employer.

Boebert has taken it upon herself to support DeSantis and the controversial law.

“If you don’t like Florida’s laws protecting kids from doing irreversible damage to their bodies, then build your own Florida,” she wrote on Twitter.

Those who responded to the tweet were not kind in their reactions.




Tobacco giant exploiting murders of George Floyd and Eric Garner for profit: report

Reynolds American, the U.S.'s largest seller of menthol cigarettes, is invoking the memories of the deaths of George Floyd and Eric Garner in a campaign to fight against laws that would ban it from selling its biggest cash cow product.

An almost year-long investigation by the Los Angeles Times and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism has found that the company is paying a vast team of Black lobbyists and consultants, including former congressman Kendrick Meeks of Florida and Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network, to protect its multi-billion-dollar menthol cigarette market.

The company's message is that government efforts to prohibit the sale of menthol cigarettes unfairly target the Black community and equate to a new layer of racism in America.

The Times reports: "About 150 cities and counties have placed some sort of restriction on the sale of menthol cigarettes, most issuing an outright ban. If California votes to prohibit the sale of menthols in November, it would follow Massachusetts as the second state to do so. The Food and Drug Administration has drafted a national ban that could follow in the next few years, which estimates suggest could save more than 600,000 lives, including almost 250,000 Black lives."

This investigation has revealed that individuals and organizations working on Reynolds’ behalf have not properly declared their ties to the company.

“The web that keeps menthol present in cities is not an accident. It’s not driven by some kind of innate Black taste for menthol,” said Keith Wailoo, a history professor at Princeton University and author of “Pushing Cool,” a book about menthol cigarettes. “It is a byproduct of a complex and relentless story of how markets were built and sustained.”

In response to a list of questions, Reynolds American told reporters it believed that “regulating menthol cigarettes differently than non-menthol cigarettes would result in numerous troubling unintended consequences, including significant growth in contraband menthol cigarettes sold through an already widespread underground market.”

Sharpton and Meek did not respond to multiple inquiries from The Times. In the past, Sharpton has cited the 2014 death of Eric Garner, who New York City police detained for allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes.

“They killed him over ‘loosie’ cigarettes,” he said at a 2016 forum held in an Oakland church, referring to allegations that Garner was illegally selling single cigarettes. “How many of these kind of situations are we going to have if we keep having these kind of engagements around criminalizing of low-level offenses?”

The 'Mayor of MAGAville is 'a lonely man who seemed to embody unbearable emptiness': report

There's no shortage of outlandish characters in Donald Trump world, but perhaps none more so than Forgiato Blow.

Blow, whose real name is Kurt Jantz, is not Trump's nephew - even though his leather vest is adorned with a patch declaring a familial relationship. The heavily-tattooed 38-year-old has declared himself the "Mayor of MAGAville," mostly because he's a recording studio machine making rap songs praising the former president and all aspects of his Trumpian MAGA culture. "Trump Nephew" is the title of his latest album.

Vice News reporter Tess Owen recently spent considerable time with the Clearwater, FL, man and presents an intriguing portrait of him.

For several years Jantz has been at the forefront of a niche music subculture that he calls “MAGA rap,” or “patriot rap” or “MAGA music.” He and others have hijacked the flashiest elements of the South Florida rap scene to make music about Donald Trump.

Owen writes: "He never achieved any mainstream musical recognition of note, but like many other MAGA World celebrities, he was later able to carve out a niche for himself within the movement surrounding Donald Trump. In 2016, he put out his first pro-Trump song, 'Silver Spoon.' Today he’s got more than 116,000 subscribers on YouTube, racks up hundreds of thousands of views on his videos, and has streams in the millions on Spotify. His 'Let’s Go Brandon' Christmas single hit over a million views on YouTube."

Lets Go Brandon - Forgiato Blow youtu.be

Jantz told Owen, “I’ve always thought I was the Donald Trump of rap,” said Jantz. “In the music industry, everyone loved me, but nobody wanted to support me on a big record label. Or everybody wants to support me and be my friend when they need something from me. I felt like that was like Trump—before he was president, everybody loved him… Said he’s going to be the president and they said, ‘No way.’ And then what happened? He became the president. That’s like me and music. I said I was going to make it through, you know, being a white rapper.”

On Twitter, Owen said that she expected to meet "a swaggering Florida party boy." But instead, she "found a lonely man who seemed to embody the unbearable emptiness of 'MAGAville.'"

He drives around Florida in a Rolls-Royce that's painted cotton-candy pink and neon blue and is covered in drawings of dollar bills, Bitcoins, piggy banks - and Richie Rich. On the hood are the words “Trump’s Nephew.” While he was parking the vehicle outside a Hooters restaurant, Owen noted a man in the parking lot deriding the vehicle: “Who the hell drives that? Captain Crunch?”

You can read the entire captivating profile here.

Piers Morgan trolls Donald Trump with 'leaked' video of 'friend' Nigel Farage trashing Trump's family

There's been quite the debate as to whether there was a genuine blow-up during Piers Morgan's recent interview with former President Donald Trump. A trailer released by Rupert Murdoch's Talk TV appears to show Trump berating Morgan as he stalks out of the interview.

Initially Trump denied that he walked out in a huff. Then he claimed that Morgan and his people performed an "unlawful" editing of the video to make it appear that the two argued when the British TV host questioned the former president about lies about the 2020 presidential election. The full interview is scheduled to debut on Monday, April 25.

Brexit proponent Nigel Farage also came to Trump's defense, telling Express.co.uk, "There is no way, absolutely no way, no way at all, that Trump stormed out of that meeting. It’s a completely inaccurate, dishonest representation of what happened.”

Based on Morgan's tweet today, it appears he's not willing to let the incident slide by.

In what he called "leaked footage" - in which he did leaking - Morgan posted a video clip in which Farage blasts Trump for his policies. The tweet admonished Donald Trump, Jr., to "know what a treacherous disingenuous little snake you're dealing with."

In the video clip, Farage at first appears to side with Trump on his political views but then expresses concern about the then-presidential candidate's policy proposals. "There's much about his agenda and manner that I find pretty worrying," Farage said.

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